Magazine article Gramophone

Chopin * JS Bach: JS Bach 'Chromatic' Fantasy and Fugue

Magazine article Gramophone

Chopin * JS Bach: JS Bach 'Chromatic' Fantasy and Fugue

Article excerpt

Chopin * JS Bach JS Bach 'Chromatic' Fantasy and Fugue, BWV903 (a). Partita No 6, BWV830 (a) Chopin Piano Concerto No 1, Op 11 (b) Ewa Pobtocka pf (b) Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra / Kazimierz Kord Fryderyk Chopin Institute (F) NIFCD054 (72' * DDD) Recorded live (b) 1984, (a) 1985

Although Ewa Poblocka has amassed a sizeable discography since the early 1980s, only a handful of releases have crossed my desk, such as her highly acclaimed recording of Panufnik's Piano Concerto with the composer conducting (RCA, 5/92), a fine Grieg Concerto (Conifer, 8/95--nla) and a terrific recital of Polish songs with the mezzo-soprano Ewa Podles (CD Accord, 10/99). All the more reason to welcome the live archival performances offered on this disc.

The Chopin E minor Concerto stems from a 1984 concert. It's likely that the presence of an audience and sense of occasion fuels the first movement's bracing momentum. Lyrical passages certainly get their due, yet PoWocka's well-proportioned rubatos and shapely inner voices allow no dead spots; listen, for example, to how she keeps the E major second theme afloat, helped by a strong left-hand presence. Kazimierz Kord and the Warsaw Philharmonic keep up with the soloist every step of the way. …

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